I look at the word courageous with some intimidation in my heart. It is such a heavy word to me. Especially since God has commanded all of us to be “strong and courageous” through every inch of our lives.
“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
I really wish I would have kept this verse close to my heart when I was really suffering depression in high school. I have had a bullying problem…I was the victim. People always will look at me differently because I twitch every five seconds. I will never forget the day I was in choir class my freshman year and I looked over to my left to see two girls with their shirts lifted halfway, and began mimicking my jerks my Tourette syndrome caused. That day, up until now, I fear of being rejected, looked at, or made fun of. I skipped school so much because I was embarrassed of myself. I became a slave to fear. It’s taken a lot of time and prayer, but I’ve managed to move past this. The last part of this verse is so helpful: “For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
It’s amazing how God works. In this chapter, Joshua is having to fill in the spot Moses left for him. Of course, we can all imagine his thoughts: “Me? Take the place of Moses? The man who split the Red Sea and saved millions of slaves? Wow..how can I?”
Let’s rewind…remember what Moses first reaction was? “But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:11
You see, a great man like Moses even had doubts. It’s just human nature. We can’t foresee what lies ahead in our paths, but we can let God lead us there. It is okay to be afraid, fear is good when it helps us in making a hard decision, but what is most important is that we must be courageous through it. We can’t let fear stop us from trying new things or taking a step into the unknown. Ruth traveled far with her mother in law Niaomi and found her Boaz because she had courage with God. Jospeh was able to escape the prison he was trapped in for years because he had courage through God. Mary was able to accept her destiny and bore the Savior because she had courage through God. So, what is your heart telling you? Are you going to keep listening to the lies of fear, or are you going to be bold and courageous?